We Need God’s Love
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all
our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble,
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” – 2 Corinthians
Ever notice how
when we’re tired, sick, emotionally drained, or depressed that it’s harder to
tend to the needs of others? Isn’t it
easier to become impatient with them instead?
The realization that one cannot properly care for others without first
properly caring for oneself may seem like nothing more than simple logic.
practice tells us otherwise. How many times have we asked people how they’re
doing only to find our minds wandering to our own troubles before we’ve even
heard a reply? Or how often have we done a favor for a friend half-heartedly or
even lousily? How did that initial desire to lend a helping hand somehow turn
into the grudging fulfillment of an obligation?
It’s probably safe
to say that in a fair share of those instances, we are unable to fully and
genuinely show love to our neighbors because we ourselves are feeling in need
of full and genuine love. Just board an airplane and within the first ten
minutes, a similar message is conveniently illustrated to us by the flight
attendants located at the front of the cabin—in case of an emergency, secure
your own oxygen mask before helping those around you.
are not given out of a sort of every-man-for-himself mentality but rather, for
the safety of all those aboard the plane.
If your own oxygen mask was thrown haphazardly around your face, you’d
probably pass out before you could really help the person next to you.
Furthermore, you not only put yourself at risk, but the welfare of others as
well. With your own mask insecure, you might hinder or damage others’ efforts
despite your good intentions.
In relation to our
spiritual lives, the life-sustaining force that we need to fill ourselves with
before we can truly come to the aid of others is not oxygen, but love. And the source of this love is God Himself,
for God is love. As stated in 2 Corinthians 1:4, God “comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in
any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
This passage tells us that in order to give comfort,
we must first have received it.
is just one of the many ways in which God loves us and in which we can love all
those around us. In order to have this constant supply of God’s love radiating
both within us and toward others, we must renew our relationship with Him every
Securing a strong
connection with God on a daily basis is as essential to our spiritual lives as
breathing in oxygen is to our physical survival. Human efforts can only take us
so far. However, frequent intakes of God’s
spirit and His word will turn into a never-ending stream of love that can be
channeled to others effectively and whole-heartedly.
Questions for reflection:
1. Identify within yourself the condition of
your connection and relationship with God. What do you find?
2. Is His love deeply rooted in you when you find yourself in a situation
to comfort others?